Be Social to Build Strong Teams

November 10, 2017
By Pavnesh Rathi

We’re undergoing a transformation to become a software-centric technology company. Our teams in Technology & Operations (ATO) are building a new software-defined network that will make things like driverless cars and robotic surgery possible – and prevalent. 

But we’re not just changing the way we create, operate and deliver technology. We’re also shifting how we work together. Teams like mine are working more efficiently to produce quality results in record time. A key element to creating successful, cohesive teams is socialization. What is socialization? Simply put, it’s giving coworkers the opportunity to connect on a personal level.

For example, we often follow our team planning sessions with outings like bowling or going to an escape room. Everyone joins, including our executive leaders. Why is this important? For one, getting to know your coworkers helps you understand how best to work together, it promotes a culture of trust and empathy in the workplace. Moreover, coworkers who have good relationships with one another also become better problem solvers. This in turn helps build a positive and productive workplace culture.

Here are some things I’m doing with my team to help foster strong connections across the organization:

Plan team get-togethers: Think simple – like a team lunch or a monthly happy hour. These events give everyone a chance to leave their desks and interact with each other in a fun, informal setting. Anyone can take the lead on planning, so go make it happen.

Champion work-life integration:  Be mindful of coworkers and their needs, whether someone wants to take classes outside of work or has to pick up kids after school. Create clear timelines for projects and build in some flexibility to help limit the late nights or time spent working over the weekend. Doing so will help everyone maintain a better work-life balance and avoid burnout. Through it all, make sure to meet business needs and conditions.

Lend a hand: Find ways to help where you can, whether it’s offering expertise, resources or even a sympathetic ear – altruism goes a long way. This not only boosts cooperation between coworkers, but it can also contribute to greater team accomplishments. 

Building professional relationships based on trust and respect is the foundation to help us achieve a successful transformation and move us toward a dynamic future. 

Pavnesh Rathi - Director of Technology & Strategy in Network & Shared Services, Technology Development

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